Learning, Innovation & Tech

Bombs & Breakthroughs

Kindergarten Test-Prep Nightmare!

CJW, October 20, 2010 7:07 PM


Test-Prep May be Ruining Early Education in America 
Check Out the Alternative:   "Math Salon" Approach
Videos Below

"Math is about exploring  . . .
and you can't learn without being willing to make mistakes . . ."
                          - Sue Van Hattum

by C.J. Westerberg

One wonders why there is math-phobia in this country.   With increasing numbers of high school grads entering college needing math remediation, we need not look further than how our culture makes math "scary" as early as Pre-K by setting up a system geared toward the test as the outcome and not necessarily learning or the desire to learn. (The 2:30 minute mark in Video #1 is astonishing in how it relates to test-prep, questions as to whether it is cheating, and how not to tip off the test monitor that your child took this particular "Lexus version" with
the $300 ERB test prep . . .)

The juxtaposition of the two videos below - reflecting two polar-opposite approaches and attitudes toward math education in America starting at the kindergarten level - may leave you dazed with the level of disconnect between the two. 

The first video is "Kindergarten Testing Without Tears." 

The second video entitled "Math Salon" features Sue Van Hattum. 
The money quote here:
 "Earlier isn't better  . . we learn more when we are ready to learn". 

The idea of a Math Salon has such great possibilities for creating a culturally "cool" venue for play and enhancement -oriented groups revolving around math (let alone attitude and approach toward math in school) giving a modern moniker on hands-on approach toward early math education and "math circle time".

NYTimes: More Children Take Tests for Gifted Programs, and More Qualify
NYTimes:  New Gifted Testing May Begin at Age 3

The Daily Riff:  Why Testing Fails: How Numbers Deceive Us All by Joe Ganem
The Daily Riff:  Three Great Reads on  High Stakes Standardized Tests
The Daily Riff:  The Marshmallow Kindergarten Test - Will your child be successful in life?


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Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. Because everything grows out of work. You do something and it kicks open a door.
Chuck Close, artist, 'Charlie Rose', Creative Brain

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